Mines News

Release Date Monday, November 7, 2022

Mines Plans Upgrades to Veterans Resource Center Thanks to Alumni Donors

Mines ROTC cadets prepare a service flag, flown for those students currently deployed in military service, during the annual Veterans Day Salute on campus.   

Rich and Trudy Wells have stepped up to help upgrade the newly named Rich and Trudy Wells Veterans Resource Center at South Dakota Mines. The center has long served as a resource for veteran students, providing camaraderie and support to ensure success. The Wells’ gift to the center provides ongoing support and is part of their $1 million gift to “New Heights: The Campaign for South Dakota Mines.” The donation will help fund the renovation of the Surbeck Center on campus including improvements to the current veterans resource center.

Cody Marshall, a senior metallurgical engineering student who serves in the South Dakota National Guard, says the Rich and Trudy Wells Veterans Resource Center was key to his success as a student. “This center is one the main reasons I’m sitting here today as a senior,” says Marshall. “Without this support network, without the friends I’ve made here, without the help of the staff connecting me with resources on campus, I don’t know if I would have made it through those first few crucial semesters at Mines.”

Rich and Trudy WellsBoth Rich and Trudy Wells studied chemical engineering at South Dakota Mines. Rich graduated in 1982 and Trudy in 1984. The couple went on to successful careers including top positions at Dow Chemical and 3M.

Supporting veterans has always been important to Rich and Trudy, and particularly because their son is an Army Captain. Their donation will help veterans successfully transition to university life as well as educate the campus and future employers about the strengths veterans bring to the classroom and the workforce.

“We also need to let the corporate world know that South Dakota Mines has a large veteran population and that we are preparing them,” says Rich. “That will bring more companies in to recruit because they want to hire veterans.”

The Rich and Trudy Wells Veterans Resource Center will see upgrades to the facility located in the lower part of the Surbeck Center on the Mines campus. The design for the upgrades is now underway. The center is an important part of the university’s top ranking in the nation for its support of veterans and the 100% job placement for veterans in their field of study after graduation.

The Veterans Club at Mines is an important part of the Rich and Trudy Wells Veterans Resource Center. Each November the club hosts its annual Veterans Club Chili Cookoff. This year’s event will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 8, starting at 10:30 a.m. in the Surbeck Ballroom on campus. Part of the proceeds will go to South Dakota Service Dogs, a charity that connects veterans with trained service animals.

On Thursday, Nov. 10, the university will host its annual  Veterans Day Salute starting at 10:45 a.m. with the raising of the service flag outside the Surbeck Center and continuing with a speaking event inside. Dr. Bill Spindle, vice president for finance and administration, will deliver remarks.

The public is welcome to attend both events.

 

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About South Dakota Mines  

Founded in 1885, South Dakota Mines is one of the nation’s leading engineering, science and technology universities. South Dakota Mines offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and a best-in-class education at an affordable price. The university enrolls 2,493 students with an average class size of 24. The South Dakota Mines placement rate for graduates is 97 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $68,685. For these reasons  South Dakota Mines is ranked among the best engineering schools in the country for return on investment. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on FacebookTwitter, LinkedInInstagram, and Snapchat.

Contact: Mike.Ray@sdsmt.edu, 605-394-6082, mike.ray@sdsmt.edu

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